Intereting Posts

Find a function $f: \mathbb{R} \to \mathbb{R}$ that is continuous at precisely one point?
What are good books to learn graph theory?
Axiom of choice – to use or not to use
Central limit theorem confusion
Understanding Fatou's lemma
Are those two numbers transcendental?
How do I sell out with abstract algebra?
Linear Independence of an infinite set .
What is the primary source of Hilbert's famous “man in the street” statement?
Is it possible to find $n-1$ consecutive composite integers
On monomial matrix (generalized permutation matrix )
Given $f: \Bbb R\rightarrow\Bbb R$ and a point $a\in\Bbb R$. Prove $lim_{x\rightarrow a} f(x)=\lim_{h\rightarrow 0} f(a+h)$ if 1 of the limits exists.
ODE $y''+ 9y = 6 \cos 3x$
A family of events such that all proper subfamilies are independent, but the entire family is not
Are all n-ary operators simply compositions of binary operators?

I am having a hard time seeing the intuition behind quotient groups or rings. Intuitively, for a group, say $Z/nZ$ would the quotient groups be the different sub groups of order $0$ to $n-1$?

Or how would you be able to tell if there exists a subfield of R that is isomorphic to the ring $Q[x]/<x^2 – 2x – 1>$ ?

In the last example, I assume the part you are dividing by is similar to “modding out” but am having a hard time explicitly seeing it.

- Roots of monic polynomial over a number ring
- Showing there is no ring whose additive group is isomorphic to $\mathbb{Q}/\mathbb{Z}$
- nilpotent elements of $M_2(\mathbb{R})$, $M_2(\mathbb{Z}/4\mathbb{Z})$
- How is a group made up of simple groups?
- Is my proof that $U_{pq}$ is not cyclic if $p$ and $q$ are distinct odd primes correct?
- A subgroup of $\operatorname{GL}_2(\mathbb{Z}_3)$

Thanks in advance for the help, and insights or general help would be appreciated.

- Is $\mathbb{R}$ an algebraic extension of some proper subfield?
- A non-abelian group such that $G/z(G)$ is abelian.
- Is my proof correct? ($A_n$ is generated by the set of all 3-cycles for $n \geq 3$)
- Elements as a product of unit and power of element in UFD
- Prime elements in the gaussian integers
- Exponent and abelian groups
- Prove that an expression is zero for all sets of distinct $a_1, \dotsc, a_n\in\mathbb{C}$
- Tarski Monster group with prime $3$ or $5$
- Why is there a $p\in \mathbb{N}$ such that $mr - p < \frac{1}{10}$?
- When does a formula for the roots of a polynomial exist?

One of the key concepts behind quotient objects in an algebraic structure is the notion of congruence. But first, behind this there’s an even more primitive notion, of equivalence. Now an equivalence relation on a set is really nothing more than forming a partition of “clumps” (subsets) of our original set. A very “useful” such partition is the “pre-image” partition of the domain of a function $f: A \to B$, in which our equivalence relation (on $A$) is formally given by:

$a_1 \sim a_2 \iff f(a_1) = f(a_2)$ so that $[a] = f^{-1}(f(a))$.

This lumps all pre-images of an element in $B$ together in the same equivalence class.

Equivalence is like a “relaxation” of equality, which nevertheless enjoys the properties of reflexiveness, symmetry, and transitivity that we use almost without thinking with the equals sign.

With a congruence, we have an equivalence relation that “respects” the algebraic operations of our structure. For example, an ADDITIVE congruence would be an equivalence relation on a set $S$ with an addition, +, such that:

if $[a] = [a’]$ and $[b] = [b’]$, then we also have: $[a + b] = [a’ + b’]$.

Let’s see how this plays out in the context of groups. Now, any group $G$ has a “special” element, $e$, its group identity. So if we have a group congruence, perhaps the equivalence class of the identity is a special one, as well. Since we have a congruence, we know that:

$[g] = [e]$, and $[g’] = [e]$ together mean that $[gg’] = [ee] = [e]$, which means that if $g,g’ \in [e]$, so is $gg’$, the equivalence (congruence) class of the identity is closed under the group multiplication. Now let’s look at inverses:

Suppose that $g \in [e]$, that is, $[g] = [e]$. We would like to know what $[g^{-1}]$ is. Since we don’t know, yet, let’s just call it $[b]$. Since we have a congruence, we know that:

$[gg^{-1}] = [eb] = [b]$. But the (far) LHS is just $[e] = [gg^{-1}]$, so putting the two facts together, we have:

$[g^{-1}] = [b] = [e]$, which shows if $g \in [e]$, so is $g^{-1}$. Hence the equivalence class of $e$ is indeed special, it’s a SUBGROUP of $G$, which is an unexpected bonus. So now we know there’s more “structure” to our “clumps” of $G$ (the equivalence/congruence classes) than it might appear, at first.

Naturally, we might ask: what does a “typical” congruence class “look like”? I claim that:

$[g] = \{gx: x \in [e]\} = L_g$ (you probably know $L_g$ better as a left coset of $[e]$).

To show that $L_g \subseteq [g]$, we’ll demonstrate that for each and every $x \in [e]$, that $[gx] = [g]$. From $x \in [e]$, we have $[x] = [e]$, and certainly $[g] = [g]$, so because we have a congruence:

$[gx] = [ge] = [g]$.

On the other hand, suppose that $y \in [g]$, so that $[y] = [g]$. Now $y = g(g^{-1}y)$, so we wish to show that $x = g^{-1}y \in [e]$. Again, since we have a congruence, we have from $[y] = [g]$ and $[g^{-1}] = [g^{-1}]$ that:

$[x] = [g^{-1}y] = [g^{-1}g] = [e]$, which shows $[g] \subseteq L_g$.

Now normally, the idea of congruence modulo a subgroup is introduced, for quotient groups. This is the same idea as $[e]$, which we already saw was in fact a subgroup, which we might as well call $H$. As we saw, the equivalence classes of a congruence, are of the form $gH = \{gh: h \in H\}$. The only “missing link” at this point, is showing that the equivalence class of the identity, $[e] = H$ is a special KIND of subgroup, called a NORMAL subgroup. This entails showing that $[g] = gH = Hg$, which is clear from the fact that we have a *congruence* (we show that $[xg] = [g]$ for $x \in H$, the same way we showed $[gx] = [g]$).

Let’s go “one step further” to give the equivalence relation for a congruence as it is usually defined: for a normal subgroup $H$ of $G$, the equivalence relation given by: $x \sim y \iff x^{-1}y \in H$ is, in fact, a congruence. Note that this is really the same as saying $x \sim y \iff xH = yH$. We show this is a congruence, the usual way:

Let $[x] = [x’]$ (that is, $xH = x’H$), and $[y] = [y’]$ (so $yH = y’H$). We need to demonstrate $[xy] = [x’y’]$, that is: $(xy)^{-1}x’y’ \in H$. Now:

$(xy)^{-1}x’y’ = y^{-1}x^{-1}x’y’$. Since $[x] = [x’]$, we know $x^{-1}x’ \in H$. Thus we need to show $y^{-1}Hy’ = H$, or equivalently, $Hy’ = yH$. Here is where the normality of $H$ is crucial:

BECAUSE $H$ IS NORMAL, $Hy’ = y’H$, and since $[y] = [y’]$, we have $Hy’ = y’H = yH$. Working backwards, we then know that $y^{-1}Hy’ = H$, and since $x^{-1}x’ \in H$, so is $y^{-1}x^{-1}x’y’$, and we have a congruence.

The idea of a quotient group, or quotient ring, does seem unnatural, at first. The key idea is that it allows us to “clump” together “equivalent members” of a group, in such a way that we get a smaller group. The same idea applies to congruences of rings, which have to “respect” BOTH addition and multiplication, and the type of “thing” the congruence class of the identity (zero) becomes, is called an IDEAL.

Intuitively, for a group, say $\mathbb Z/n\mathbb Z$ would the quotient groups be the different sub groups of order $0$ to $n-1$?

This question is ill-formed. When $n$ is some fixed number, say $n=7$, we can speak of $\mathbb Z/7\mathbb Z$, which is *one* quotient group, namely the quotient of $\mathbb Z$ by its subgroup $7\mathbb Z$ (the additive group of all integer multiples of $7$).

The *elements* of $\mathbb Z/7\mathbb Z$ are the residue classes (or more generally, cosets) that contain $0$ through $6$:

$$\begin{array}{l}[0] = 7\mathbb Z+0 = \{\ldots,-14,-7,0,7,\ldots\}\\

[1] = 7\mathbb Z+1 = \{\ldots,-13,-6,1,8,\ldots\}\\

[2] = 7\mathbb Z+2 = \{\ldots,-12,-5,2,9,\ldots\}\\

[3] = 7\mathbb Z+3 = \{\ldots,-11,-4,3,10,\ldots\}\\

[4] = 7\mathbb Z+4 = \{\ldots,-10,-3,4,11,\ldots\}\\

[5] = 7\mathbb Z+5 = \{\ldots,-9,-2,5,12,\ldots\}\\

[6] = 7\mathbb Z+6 = \{\ldots,-8,-1,6,13,\ldots\}\end{array} $$

But these elements are not “quotient groups” or “subgroups” (except that $[0]$ is a subgroup, namely $7\mathbb Z$ — but that is not the property that’s important about it when we view it as an element of $\mathbb Z/7\mathbb Z$).

Or how would you be able to tell if there exists a subfield of $\mathbb R$ that is isomorphic to the ring $\mathbb Q[x]/\langle x^2−2x−1\rangle$?

Well, **I** would be able to tell that, because I know some field theory, so I know that the ring is isomorphic to a subfield of $\mathbb R$ because $x^2-2x-1$ has real roots.

However, this fact does not follow “obviously” from the concept of a quotient ring. There’s some additional work to be done here even after one understands the quotient ring concept in itself.

- Why is Euclidean geometry scale-invariant?
- Conditional probability
- Do the last digits of exponential towers really converge to a fixed sequence?
- Prove that $n$ divides $\phi(a^n-1)$, where $\phi$ is Euler's $\phi$-function.
- Questions of an exercise in Lebesgue integral
- Triangular Factorials
- Why the $\nabla f(x)$ in the direction orthogonal to $f(x)$?
- Minimal generating set of Rubik's Cube group
- How can I determine the number of wedge products of $1$-forms needed to express a $k$-form as a sum of such?
- Probability that A meets B in a specific time frame
- Is $\left(\sum\limits_{k=1}^\infty \frac{x_k}{j+k}\right)_{j\geq 1}\in\ell_2$ true if $(x_k)_{k\geq 1}\in\ell_2$
- Find $P^{(4022)}(x)$
- Conjecture about $A(z) = \lim b^{} ( c^{} (z) ) $
- Which discussion board is good for homework questions?
- How many arrangements of MATHEMATICS are there in which each consonant is adjacent to a vowel?